MANILA, Philippines – Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla revealed during a press conference on Tuesday, January 31, that some lawyers file “invented” and “contrived” complaints to deliberately hold some Japanese in the country.
“We are of the impression that these cases were invented or are not real cases. They were contrived cases filed against them just to keep them in the Philippines. And that they just used this law because it is a very, very well-debated law and a very, very popular law among activists. That’s why they used the law to file cases against the Japanese subjects,” Remulla said.
The briefing was in relation to four Japanese with outstanding warrants in Japan currently under the Bureau of Immigration’s (BI) custody. The DOJ said the Japanese government had requested for their deportation.
Remulla explained that some of lawyers specifically use Republic Act No. 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004. The DOJ chief said they discovered the scheme when they deported two Chinese nationals who had contrived cases that were later dismissed.
Under current rules, foreigners cannot be deported if they have outstanding cases in the country, according to Remulla.
“I speak from experience, not from the way things have been running in the country on these cases. There are lawyers who specialize in these cases and many of them will lose their license if they continue doing this. We would file cases even against the lawyers if they will insist on filing cases, which are contrived,” he said.
Of the complaints and/or cases filed against the Japanese, one has already been dismissed (estafa), while the other three pending are alleged violation of the anti-violence against women and children law, he said.
Remulla added that the scheme is part of alleged corruption hounding the immigration bureau. He also noted they will file complaints and disbarment cases against lawyers involved in the alleged crime.
“It’s part of the corruption ring that operates within the Bureau of Immigration. All of these legal services being offered by law offices do not stop at tactics, which are not supposed to be used in cases like this. But many lawyers think that it’s okay to do that, but the Department of Justice will not tolerate behaviors like these from lawyers,” the DOJ secretary said.
During the briefing, Remulla also revealed that authorities had confiscated cellphones, including iPhones, from the Japanese detained by the BI. As of January 30, there were 17 Japanese under the bureau’s custody.
He added that authorities were able to confiscate at least six iPhones from a Japanese set for deportation. The Philippine government aims to deport at least two of the foreigners by the end of the week, Remulla said.
In an interview with reporters on Monday, January 30, the DOJ chief said they have yet to identify which of the 17 Japanese in custody is “Luffy.” Yuki Watanabe, who went by the name of the famous Anime character, is the suspected leader behind at least 20 robberies in Japan. He has outstanding arrest warrants. – Rappler.com
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